In 1997 delegates to the third session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), agreed by consensus to adopt the Kyoto Protocol under which industrialized countries would reduce their combined greenhouse gas emissions by an average 5.2% from their 1992 levels. To have any hope of achieving these emission reductions and averting global climate catastrophe will require a fundamental shift in the way in which energy is produced and the way it is used. This factor, in itself, is enough to catapult the Protocol out of the purely environmental realm and into the domain of global economics.
With this added economic dimension, Inter-linkages: The Kyoto Protocol and the International Trade and Investment Regimes examines the Climate Change Convention in the context of potential synergies and conflicts that could arise between it and the World Trade Organization, international investment agreements and private and contractual trade law.
Effective environmental protection will be impossible unless the different international regimes and relevant environmental bodies locate their common ground and actively coordinate their policies. Inter-linkages makes a practical study of the Climate Change Convention to demonstrate how synergism and coordination could be accomplished in practical terms.
W. Bradnee Chambers is a Fellow and Coordinator of the Multilateralism and Sustainable Development Programme (MSD) of the Institute of Advanced Studies, United Nations University, Tokyo. He specializes in public international law and works on environmental treaty and international economic legal issues.